Various Artists

Acoustic Songbook

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AllMusic Review by

This is a delightful and strange collection of pop/rock and folk-influenced sounds, spiced by the occasional psychedelic entry from one side of the Atlantic or the other, and singer/songwriter entries from everywhere, straddling four decades. Strictly speaking, it's not all acoustic by a long shot, though it is all relatively low-wattage rock, at least in terms of amplification. Everything else in the expression department (and, obviously, the talent) is on display in sharp relief. With everyone from the Everly Brothers ("Bye Bye Love") to Norah Jones ("Come Away with Me") represented -- and room for Pink Floyd ("Wish You Were Here") and Don McLean ("Vincent"), and even the Move ("Beautiful Daughter") -- what there isn't a lot of is thematic or stylistic unity. But the collection is a killer mood piece, close to four hours of low-key yet mostly serious statement sounds, at times from some unexpected quarters, on three CDs. The annotation is non-existent but the production is excellent, with the best quality masters utilized for each song. Disc two, opening with John Lennon ("Crippled Inside") and encompassing the Waterboys ("Fisherman's Blues") and David Bowie ("Andy Warhol"), probably has the most eye-catching lineup of names. And disc three, devoted to various mostly '60s folkies, is coherent enough on its own terms that it could easily stand on its own as a separate release, pulling together such figures as Bert Jansch, Pentangle, Davy Graham, Duncan Browne, Jackson C. Frank, and Tim Hardin on one CD.

Track Listing

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